Marvel Comics is full of cosmic entities that are borderline omnipotent, capable of almost everything, and overlooking the Multiverse as a whole. However, only two have come close to being regarded as Marvel Comics’ absolute deity – the being more powerful than all other beings – One Above All and the Beyonder. But who is actually more powerful? Who would win in a fight?
As the name itself suggests, One Above All (or The-One-Above-All) is above all other beings in Marvel Comics – including the Beyonder. Despite the Pre-Retconned Beyonder claiming omnipotence, One Above All is the only real omnipotent being in Marvel Comics. He is the embodiment of the writer of the story.
Now, there are arguments to be made that the Beyonder – at least the Pre-Retconned Beyonder – exists in a plane of existence far beyond Marvel Comics and that he was the real monotheistic version of ‘God’ in Marvel Comics. However, we later learn that he is far from it and that there’s only one being that can be considered as such. Let’s break these characters down, piece by piece.
Keep in mind; I’m comparing the Beyonder and One Above All throughout their existence in Marvel Comics – not only the Pre-Retconned Beyonder or the Jack Kirby-looking One Above All. We’re breaking down the characters and their powers in their Marvel Comics entirety.
Origins & physiology
It’s incredibly hard to determine the physiology of The One Above All because he has no physiology. He is the sole creator of the entire Marvel Omniverse – which is a plain of existence above the Multiverse, which is already considered infinite, and a step below the House of Ideas – the infinite, abstract realm where The One Above All resides.
It’s important to note that The One Above All (or The-One-Above-All, or One Above All – he has been called many names) – should not be confused with the Celestial One Above All. He was a Celestial from the First Firmament and the most powerful Celestial ever – but the Celestials, with all their might, are nowhere near the power level of The One Above All.
We have seen One Above All (the ‘deity,’ not the Celestial) take many forms, sometimes closely resembling that of the legendary Marvel writer Jack Kirby. That’s because the concept of The One Above All actually transcends Marvel Comics – he is the one who created it, so he might as well be the embodiment of the writers within the pages of the comics.
He is the one who creates the stories, and without him, there are no stories – no Beyonder, no Marvel Comics, no Multiverse – nothing.
On the other hand, it was once believed that The Beyonder was, in fact, Marvel Comics’ absolute deity – its most powerful, omnipotent being. He was believed to be the creator of the multiverse – nay, that he WAS the multiverse.
The Beyonder existed in a realm called ‘the Beyond’ – a realm outside of the Multiverse, overlooking it as a mere speck of dust. In that realm, the Beyonder is everything and nothing. His true omnipotence was a concept hard to gauge. The reality was nothing different than his thought – what the Beyonder envisioned became a reality.
But then, a rupture opened, and the Beyonder entered the Multiverse. Put a pin in that.
Over the years, we learned that the Beyonder was actually a member of an unfathomably powerful, more-than-godlike race of cosmic superbeings. Yes, there were more of them, and they could die.
Let’s stop this category right here and just give the point to One Above All. Firstly, that pin we mentioned before – the Beyonder ‘discovering’ the Multiverse, in a way – meant he did not know of it before, of life that isn’t completely, and entirely – him. That means he wasn’t omniscient, meaning he wasn’t actually omnipotent.
Also, there are multiple Beyonders – older and younger – meaning they reproduce somehow and coexist. Meaning neither of them is actually the absolute ‘God’ in a traditional, monotheistic sense, and neither is actually omnipotent.
There’s no one on One Above All’s level. There’s no race on TOAA’s living in his realm. There’s nothing he could not accomplish or that he did not know.
With this category, we pretty much solved our main question, but for the sake of argument, let’s give One Above All the first point for now.
Point: One Above All (1:0) The Beyonder
One Above All Vs. Pre-Retconned Beyonder
I found this argument the most intriguing argument in favor of the Beyonder being the more powerful entity – at least the Pre-Retconned Beyonder, before the other Beyonders were introduced as a race, and many of his powers were retconned.
So, One Above All sits in a realm known as the House of Ideas – the highest realm possible in Marvel Comics that consists of the entire Marvel Omniverse and every story ever told within. In other words, One Above All is pretty much responsible for everything that ever happened in Marvel Comics.
However, this early version of the Beyonder did not come from anywhere within the Marvel Multiverse or Omniverse – he came from the Beyond – hence, the name Beyonder.
His realm of existence was explained as such; compared to the Beyond, the entirety of the Marvel Multiverse was but a drop of water, and the Beyond was an ocean – an infinite ocean with an infinite amount of drops of water. And, in that infinite ocean, the Beyonder was everything and nothing.
The entirety of the existence of the Beyond was, in fact, the Beyonder. Nothing existed outside of him – he was the complete existence.
So, even if The One Above All were the omnipotent overseer of his own creation, the Marvel Omniverse, it would still mean that he was only a part of the Beyond, or, if you will, a part of the Beyonder, as the Beyonder IS the Beyond and everything in it.
I know it’s a tough concept to digest, but it was the explanation of the Beyonder before the retconning of many of his powers and origins. For that, the Beyonder gets a point in this category.
Point: The Beyonder (1:1) The One Above All
While both the Beyonder and One Above All claim true omnipotence, only one of them actually has it. The Beyonder, as we learned, isn’t even the only member of his race. Even earlier, we saw that he displayed a lack of true omnipotence.
In the scan above, for instance, the Beyonder couldn’t simply return Death into existence after erasing it – not even he, as he said, had that kind of power. Well, if there was something he couldn’t do, doesn’t that mean he doesn’t have true omnipotence? And it’s not even the only example of his omnipotence not actually being true.
On the other hand, One Above All has nothing he can’t do. Sure, there was the ‘Thanos: The Infinity Conflict’ #1 story, where Thanos had the Regulator (a device tenfold more powerful than the Infinity Gauntlet) and caused a huge imbalance in the multiverse that ‘not even the One Above All could fix.’
Later, Thanos even managed to absorb the One Above All in ‘Thanos: The Infinity Ending’ #1, but as we look back on those issues, it’s clear that the One Above All was, in fact, the one who had created that story and narrative.
In short words, there is nothing – nothing – that’s out of TOAA’s realm of power. He is truly omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient. For that, he gets a point here.
Point: One Above All (2:1) The Beyonder
Best (& worst) features
I wanted to do a classic ‘best features’ category but then realized that Beyonder’s feats are completely inconsistent. Sometimes, he can blink entities out of existence, whereas, in other situations, he has difficulty defeating the Molecule Man.
And on the other hand, One Above All can be credited for every feat in Marvel Comics you could ever imagine. True omnipotence IS his best feat. He doesn’t even appear that often, which is yet another feature of a true, omnipotent deity.
The One Above All created The Living Tribunal – the entity of unfathomable, nigh-omnipotent power responsible for overlooking the universe. The Living Tribunal might be the most powerful of all the unfathomably powerful cosmic entities in Marvel Comics. And yet, it is merely a creation of the One Above All.
Believe it or not, the Living Tribunal got killed at one point. However, the Beyonder couldn’t do it himself. It took three Beyonders to take out the Living Tribunal, and the One Above All chose not to interfere, as he usually chooses not to interfere with anything.
So, essentially, it took three Beyonders to kill the Living Tibunal, which was only a creation of One Above All, a level below his unimaginable power. Should a fight happen between the Beyonder and the true One Above All, it would be a no-contest.
Point: One Above All (3:1) The Beyonder
Lastly, we have to address each character’s weaknesses. Let’s start with One Above All.
Essentially, TOAA has no weaknesses. His only ‘weakness’ is the duality of its entity. You see, One Above All’s only weapon, as he says, is love.
That is so much more true than you think. You see, One Above All is the embodiment of absolute love, creation, and development. He is unable to do anything opposite of goodness, creation, and love. He cannot be evil, hate, or destroy. That would mean he’s not omnipotent, then, right? Well, not exactly.
You see, the One Above All created an alter-ego – another side of himself, known as the One Below All. As One Above All is the ultimate love and creation, The One Below All is the ultimate hatred and destruction.
As he mentioned, the hands with which he builds are ‘themselves, but also me,’ so is The One Below All himself – but also the One Above All. They are two sides of the same medal – two alter-egos of the same entity, creating an omnipotent omniversal balance. One can see that as a weakness, but it isn’t really a weakness.
On the other hand, the Beyonder literally lost fights to the Molecule Man. Doctor Doom – a mortal – managed to take away his powers and make him a mortal. His desire to ‘complete’ things limits him. His wish to know what it’s like to be human, or to be mortal, is a real weakness.
If he doesn’t already know what it’s like – he isn’t omniscient. If he can’t stop Doctor Doom with a thought, he isn’t omnipotent. His weaknesses are far more evident than having an alter-ego.
The One Above All gets this final point, and it’s not even close.
Point: One Above All (4:1) The Beyonder
One Above All Vs. Beyonder: Who wins?
In the end, I wanted to leave no doubt and no stones unturned for those who still think the Beyonder has any chance against the One Above All. In almost every category – barring the Pre-Retconned Beyonder, where he was the one envisioned to be the prime deity of Marvel Comics – TOAA trumps the Beyonder, and it’s not even close.
I mean, the name itself says it – the One Above All – there is nothing, no one, that could beat him. He is simply the most powerful being in Marvel Comics, and whoever you pit against him – heck, pit the entirety of all Marvel heroes, villains, and cosmic entities against him – One Above All still wins, as they are all merely his creations, left to exist without his direct interference.
Apart from the few instances where he did interfere, of course.
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